Multiple explanations have been proposed for what drives India’s Hindu–Muslim conflict. Harnessing novel approaches to data acquisition and analysis, this paper uses insights from an electronic survey with 1,414 respondents to test three prominent theories of why individuals promote conflict with out-groups. The results show that security concerns for the future are strong predictors for a hostile stance and approval of violence. Experiences of violence in the past do not seem to systematically perpetuate hostility. Personal experiences with out-groups strongly correlate with hostile sentiments. These results hold across model specifications, post-stratified estimation based on census data, and a benchmark relying on Finite Mixture Models.